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The 23 color harmony rules, diagrammed


Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

Video: The 23 color harmony rules, diagrammed

The 23 color harmony rules, diagrammed provides you with in-depth training on Design. Taught by Deke McClelland as part of the Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
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  1. 43m 9s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 9s
    2. Introducing my custom keyboard shortcuts
      6m 52s
    3. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on Windows
      4m 46s
    4. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on the Mac
      4m 18s
    5. Remapping your Macintosh OS shortcuts
      3m 10s
    6. Adjusting a few key Preferences settings
      8m 13s
    7. Understanding the color-managed workflow
      6m 51s
    8. Establishing the optimal Color Settings
      6m 50s
  2. 1h 11m
    1. Illustrator's oldest dynamic functions
      1m 28s
    2. Creating a multicolor blend
      7m 12s
    3. Establishing a clipping mask
      5m 40s
    4. Reinstating the colors of a clipping path
      8m 1s
    5. Editing individual blended paths
      4m 44s
    6. Adjusting the number of steps in a blend
      7m 15s
    7. Fixing problems with the Blend tool
      4m 2s
    8. Blending different levels of opacity
      4m 45s
    9. Editing the spine of a blend
      5m 3s
    10. Adding a custom spine to any blend
      5m 5s
    11. Advanced blending and masking techniques
      6m 18s
    12. Blending between entire groups
      3m 2s
    13. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      3m 21s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      5m 36s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. Illustrator's logo-making features
      1m 8s
    2. Customizing a single character of type
      5m 25s
    3. Combining a letterform with a path outline
      7m 48s
    4. Creating logo type along an open path
      5m 3s
    5. Creating logo type around a closed circle
      3m 57s
    6. Vertical alignment, orientation, and spacing
      4m 55s
    7. Warping logo type around a circle
      6m 56s
    8. Creating a classic neon type effect
      5m 39s
    9. Adding random neon brightness fluctuations
      5m 19s
    10. Creating neon "block outs" between letters
      7m 44s
    11. Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop
      6m 16s
  4. 46m 19s
    1. Generating colors using harmony rules
      1m 31s
    2. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      5m 16s
    3. The 23 color harmony rules, diagrammed
      8m 16s
    4. Mixing and matching color harmonies
      5m 59s
    5. Color groups and custom harmony rules
      6m 18s
    6. Working in the Edit Colors dialog box
      7m 4s
    7. Expanding on an existing harmony rule
      6m 51s
    8. Constraining colors to a predefined library
      5m 4s
  5. 32m 44s
    1. Changing lots of colors all at once
      1m 2s
    2. Introducing the Recolor Artwork command
      4m 58s
    3. Recoloring with the help of swatch groups
      4m 35s
    4. Changing the color-assignment order
      6m 44s
    5. Reducing the number of colors in your art
      5m 7s
    6. Applying tints and shades of a single swatch
      5m 37s
    7. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 41s
  6. 1h 15m
    1. Painting with path outlines
      1m 24s
    2. Introducing the Brushes panel
      4m 25s
    3. Applying and editing a calligraphic brush
      7m 34s
    4. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 12s
    5. Applying and editing a scatter brush
      5m 31s
    6. Formatting and scaling brushed text
      5m 45s
    7. Designing a custom art brush
      7m 35s
    8. Creating (or replacing) an art brush
      6m 42s
    9. Refining a brush to fit ends and corners
      4m 11s
    10. Expanding, filling, and stroking a brush
      7m 4s
    11. Type on a path vs. text as an art brush
      7m 3s
    12. Distorting text with the Width tool
      8m 49s
    13. Infusing your artwork with a tile pattern
      3m 13s
  7. 58m 24s
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 38s
    2. Creating translucency with the Opacity value
      4m 21s
    3. Darken, Multiply, and Color Burn
      6m 15s
    4. Lighten, Screen, and Color Dodge
      5m 8s
    5. Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, Difference, and Exclusion
      4m 59s
    6. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      5m 12s
    7. Combining the effects of multiple blend modes
      6m 42s
    8. Isolating blending and Knockout Group
      7m 37s
    9. Combining blend modes with dynamic effects
      7m 25s
    10. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      9m 7s
  8. 1h 39m
    1. The Layers panel for dynamic attributes
      1m 4s
    2. Applying attributes in the Appearance panel
      6m 15s
    3. Creating depth using translucent strokes
      5m 37s
    4. Adding, layering, and offsetting strokes
      6m 12s
    5. Duplicating entire groups of attributes
      7m 55s
    6. Turning stacked strokes into editable paths
      5m 43s
    7. Simplifying a multi-stroke effect
      6m 31s
    8. Applying the Convert to Shape effect
      7m 47s
    9. Adding aligned patterns and shadows
      8m 16s
    10. Drawing with arrowheads and angled strokes
      8m 49s
    11. Employing overlapping gradient strokes
      8m 25s
    12. Drawing circular stroke elements
      10m 13s
    13. Outlining an entire multi-stroke effect
      8m 39s
    14. Creating seamless wood grain in Photoshop
      8m 11s
  9. 1h 12m
    1. The best features in Illustrator
      1m 38s
    2. Repeating a series of transformations
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting and updating a dynamic effect
      6m 37s
    4. Applying a stroke to an entire layer
      6m 24s
    5. Improving the performance of drop shadows
      5m 40s
    6. Applying a single effect multiple times
      6m 10s
    7. Creating an intricate Spirograph pattern
      7m 10s
    8. Adding scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      4m 40s
    9. Applying a dynamic Pathfinder to a layer
      3m 56s
    10. Creating beveled ornaments
      6m 50s
    11. Creating a sculptural type effect
      5m 59s
    12. Subtracting editable text from a path
      7m 6s
    13. Editing text inside a dynamic effect
      4m 25s
  10. 27m 40s
    1. Never remember anything again, ever
      1m 41s
    2. The pixel-based Effect Gallery
      3m 53s
    3. Copying effects from one layer to another
      4m 44s
    4. Introducing the Graphic Styles panel
      4m 11s
    5. Correcting previews in the Effect Gallery
      4m 36s
    6. Adjusting the resolution of your effects
      4m 0s
    7. Combining and saving graphic styles
      4m 35s
  11. 1h 13m
    1. Two powerful graphics programs combine forces
      1m 5s
    2. Creating a perfectly centered star shape
      6m 52s
    3. Precisely scaling concentric circles
      7m 47s
    4. Adding reflective highlights with the Flare tool
      6m 23s
    5. Two ways to rasterize vector art for Photoshop
      7m 37s
    6. Importing vector art as a Smart Object
      6m 47s
    7. Creating a lens flare effect in Photoshop
      7m 56s
    8. Photographic texture and brushed highlights
      6m 26s
    9. Modifying a vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      6m 33s
    10. Converting Illustrator paths to shape layers
      6m 27s
    11. Assign layer effects to native shape layers
      5m 55s
    12. Completing a work of photorealistic art
      3m 46s
  12. 1m 5s
    1. Until next time
      1m 5s

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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
Video Duration: 8m 16s11h 2m Advanced Dec 13, 2012

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View Course Description

This course is the third in a four-part series devoted to mastering the premiere graphics creation application, Adobe Illustrator, version CS6. Industry pro Deke McClelland takes a project-based learning approach to the key features in Illustrator, including Recolor Artwork, transparency, masks, blend modes, strokes and fills, and dynamic effects. The course also covers techniques for creating custom gradients, designing logos, generating photorealistic neon text, and wrapping type around objects. Plus, Deke shows how to call up the most essential features by organizing your workspace and employing time-saving keyboard shortcuts, how to manage the color settings, and how to adjust a few settings to make the program work even better.

Topics include:
  • Installing dekeKeys, Deke's free custom keyboard shortcuts
  • Understanding the color-managed workflow
  • Creating a multicolor blend
  • Establishing a clipping mask
  • Blending different levels of opacity
  • Combining a letterform with a path outline
  • Warping logo type around a circle
  • Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop
  • Mixing and matching color harmonies
  • Recoloring artwork
  • Working with the Calligraphic, Scatter, and Art Brushes
  • Creating translucency
  • Editing attributes in the Appearance panel
  • Adjusting and updating dynamic effects
Deke McClelland

The 23 color harmony rules, diagrammed

In this movie, I'll explain the 23 harmony rules that are available to you from the Color Guide panel. Now as opposed to explaining every single one, I am going to show them to you in ten groups, and I am going to show them to you as color diagrams, as you're about to see. So here's the Color Guide panel. If I click on this down-pointing arrowhead, you can see that we've got a list of harmony rules right there and they just happen to be 23 in all. I am going to diagram how they work--not inside Illustrator, but rather inside Photoshop, because Photoshop offers Layer Comps, which are great for creating slideshows.

So here are the 23 harmony rules listed in the order that they appear in the Color Guide panel. Now I will keep those up on screen as I explain what's going on. In order to understand the harmony rules-- really understand them--we need to take on a little bit of color theory. It's not hard stuff, in fact it's pretty fun. Now one way to think of color is as if it's organized on a wheel. So here's your standard everyday average RGB wheel with the hues organized around the outside, and as we go toward the center, we have reduced saturation values.

So we end up with a bright Red out here at the very edge of the circle and a low saturation Red ultimately going to gray toward the center of the circle. You can see we've got Red over on the right, Yellow's up right; we've got Green up left, Cyan over on the left-hand side--meaning that it is the color complement to Red. We've got Blue down in lower-left-- it's the color complement to Yellow. Then we've got Magenta down right-- it's the color complement to Green. Just to satisfy your potential curiosity, here is the CMYK wheel.

Notice that the colors are organized exactly as they are for RGB. The difference is that we end up with less vibrant colors all the way around, and that's just because it's easier to produce bright vivid colors on a screen than it is on the printed page, at least where process color printing is concerned. Now Illustrator does use a color wheel in order to map out its color harmonies, but it doesn't use either of these wheels. Instead it uses the Lab Color Wheel. The L in Lab stands for luminance, and then A and B are color axes.

The A axis cuts horizontally across the circle and the B axes cuts vertically across the circle. As a result we get a different range of colors, as you can see here, that is more analogous to the way that we actually perceive colors in the real world. So we still have Red over here on the right, but we've got this huge range of warm colors, which is where of course our flesh tones reside. So we've got Yellow up here at the top. Instead of being located at 60 degrees, the way it is with RGB and CMYK, it's located at more like 100 degrees.

So beyond 90 degrees at the top, we've got orange as a primary color, so a rich array of oranges. We've got a diminished Green to Cyan range, which is a good thing, because we can't see a lot of those colors that we can invent using RGB values. Then we've got Blue all the way down at the bottom here. We've got Violet--a rich range of violets as you can see--and then Magenta would be right about there. But Magenta isn't really a primary where the Lab color space is concerned. As the colors descend in saturation, they descend toward White as opposed to Gray.

Now you can't really represent color just in a wheel, because color is a three-dimensional thing in order to calculate it properly. What we're not seeing is any luminance variations. In order to see luminance variations, we would have to create cross-sections like so, with different wheels--a very bright wheel on top and increasingly darker wheels going down the stack. What we're looking at right here is the brightest of the wheels. So this is the top slice of that cylinder of color, and I say that because I am going to be demonstrating the harmony rules using this top slice.

So what Illustrator does is it takes your color and it goes ahead and maps it onto the wheel. So this is where the t-shirt falls inside of the Lab Color Wheel. When you click on that color swatch inside the Color Guide panel, Illustrator goes ahead and makes that the base color for its color harmony calculations. Now let's take a look at the harmony rules. We will start off with the default which is Tetrad 2. By Tetrad, Illustrator means four. So the colors are branching off in four different directions. So it starts with the base color. In the case of Tetrad 2, it goes ahead and adds a darker, slightly more saturated version of that base color, and then it goes ahead and snags three other colors in three different directions on the wheel.

So if I were to move his base color to a new location, for example if the base color were green, then the other colors would rotate inside the wheel as well. So you're always going to get different colors out of this calculation, but it's going to be calculated at the same angles given Tetrad 2. Tetrad 1 and 3 are giving you different numbers of colors and the angles are slightly different, but you're still getting four different directions of color. Now let's check out Triad 2 which is very much like the Tetrad group, so you can see you've got Triad, Triad 2, and Triad 3; and the one difference is that it's branching the colors out in three directions.

In this case it's still giving us five colors, because it's creating two variations along a couple of the axes here, but we are still going in three directions. Now let's go to top of the list to Complementary. And Complementary colors are going to be on the opposite side of the color wheel. So we start with the base color. The base color is always appearing big in these diagrams, and then we have a couple of base color variations that are slightly different saturation values and very different luminance levels. Then we've got a couple of true complements.

That is to say they are on the opposite side of the wheel, although they have different saturation and luminance levels; and then we have this slightly off-kilter complementary color, at least where Complementary 2 is concerned. Now let's take a look at the next group here, Split Complementary through Right Complement. I will go ahead and advance to this guy, which is Left Complement. Notice that Illustrator is rotating the Complementary colors to the right. So why in the world is it called Left complement? Well, there is no left and right when you're traveling around a circle; there is only clockwise and counterclockwise.

By left, Illustrator really means clockwise. So it might be a left rotation. If I start with a color up here, then it would rotate around to the left; but as often as not, you are going to be rotating to the right. So it's just clockwise. By contrast a Right Complement is a counterclockwise rotation. Split Complementary is going in both directions. So it gives you the base color and then it gives you one color counterclockwise and another color clockwise. All right! Next is Analogous. This is Analogous and then there's also Analogous 2, and in this case, all the colors are going off in similar hue directions.

In the case of Analogous, you are not seeing any luminance or saturation variations, so we are getting some greenish blues and some purplish blues. Then we've got Monochromatic. This is the first of the Monochromatic group right here, and as you can see, all of the colors are in lockstep where the hue is concerned. There are some saturation and luminance variations. With shades, by the way, you only get luminance variations. Next in the list, we've got Compound. Compound finds a few Analogous colors as you can see here, and then it finds some Complementary colors.

The diagram that we are seeing here is specifically Compound 1; but just remember that Compound is Analogous plus Complementary, hence Compound-- that is, more than one thing going on at the same time. The High Contrast bunch is all Triads, as you can see here. They go off in all sorts of different directions, and the Illustrator goes ahead and picks very highly saturated colors toward the outside of the circle. This diagram is specifically for High Contrast 4, by the way. Then finally we have Pentagram, very easy to understand.

The colors branch out in five different directions. They vary little in terms of saturation and I believe not at all in terms of luminance. So there you have it. I hope that helped, because this diagram took me forever to put together; but those are the 23 different harmony rules that are available from the Color Guide panel inside Illustrator.

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